I'm actually learning 味をつける which is translated by : to bring taste. But when I looked it up on jisho.org, it was also translated by : 利かせる. I just want to know if there is any difference or if one is more used than the other. Thank you !

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    bring taste ? "bring out taste" じゃなく? – Chocolate Feb 26 '18 at 3:35

(~に)味をつける means using salt, sugar, pepper, miso, ketchup and so on to give a flavor. 味付け is also a common word.

利く means something like "(for a thing) to do its job". この料理は塩が利いている means the dish is salty (and delicious). 塩を利かせる means "to make salt do its job" or simply "to salt something". ~に塩味を付ける and ~に塩を利かせる are both common and roughly the same, but the latter has the connotation of "and make it more delicious".

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    👍 for 利く "to do its job" -- as opposed to 効く, take effect – Chocolate Feb 26 '18 at 3:25

For one thing, 味をつける 'add flavor' is a object + verb construction while 利かせる is just a verb. So maybe we should be instead comparing the verbs つける and 利かせる in the context of adding flavor/seasoning.

But anyway, if you want to talk about seasoning using 味をつける, you may use a に-phrase to refer to the food/dish to which flavor is added, and で-phrase to the particular seasoning with which it is flavored. E.g.:

[煮物]{にもの}に[醤油]{しょうゆ}で味をつける 'add flavor to the stew with soy sauce' 

You can swap the object "味" for a more specific taste-related noun. E.g.:

[唐辛子]{とうがらし}で[辛味]{からみ}をつける 'add spiciness with chili pepper'

As for the verb 利かせる (literally, 'make (something) effective'), the relevant meaning here is, say, "to give (a specific taste or flavor) to a dish in a pronounced way". Being a transitive verb (like "つける"), it takes nouns for tastes as its object, and, optionally, a に-phrase and で-phrase for extra information (just like "つける"!). Thus:

唐辛子でスープに辛味を利かせる "give (a pronounced) spiciness to the soup with chilli pepper"

Alternatively, 利かせる can take as its object a noun referring to a seasoning rather than a taste, in which case it means something along the lines of, "to add (a seasoning) to a dish in a rather generous amount so that its flavor is pronounced":

スープに唐辛子を利かせる 'add a fair amount of chili pepper to the soup (So it's hot!)'


BにAを利かせる is like "take A (effect) on B. AにBをつける is like attach B to A . Could you see that ? What make it different is nothing as native speaker. We can use that two expressions equally .

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    'Could you see that?' = あれ見えなかったの?←rude (恐らく偶然だけど...). 'What make it different is nothing as native speaker.' ⇒ ’It makes no difference to a native speaker'という意味ですか? – BJCUAI Feb 26 '18 at 1:39

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